15 Replies to “Gondola PlottyBot is born”

  1. Hi Ben,
    After some back and forth with Amazon (subpar components) I was finally able to deploy my Gondola Plotty…
    A couple of things I noticed – and hope I can fix with your help:
    1: When booting, the left motor steadily moves to the upper left corner. I don’t think this is expected?
    2: When testing, the right (bottom) motor pulls the gondola to the upper right corner – I think, that’s what I should expect.
    Unfortunately, the left (bottom) motor lowers the carriage to the lower right corner. Both my motors are wired the same way, how can I fix this?!

      1. Hmm, seems I fixed both issues by (after powering down the PlottyBot) reversing the left motor cable…
        Well, so much for that…

        Now, on to reprinting everything in PETG as the PLA i initially chose is already warping due to the stepper driver’s heat…

        1. I’m glad you figured it out, it sounded like a grounding issue or another miswiring.

          Interestingly, I’ve used these drivers on PLA for hundreds or hours and didn’t experience heat issues, altough they do get toasty.

          Out of curiosity, do you have a heatsink on them? Any chance you could send a picture of the warping? I’m curious to know how it affects the model.

          Thank you!

  2. Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the instructions! I’m thinking of deploying one for myself, but am not sure what to do in terms of size.
    So, could you give me some info about:
    – Margins – Given the distance in your last picture, is the margin always a quarter of this distance, tying it to the plotters size?
    Or is the margin always a specific width / height, which would make it independent from the plotters area?
    – Accuracy – I’m thinking about making the plotter as big as I can on one wall in my office, also to use it to prepare flipcharts, etc. in advance. In order for this to work, the plotter would be roughly 2m x 2m in size, do you have any idea if the accuracy would be problematic here?

    1. Hey Ryan,

      the margins are defined as 20%, so not a fixed size. That’s what I landed on with various deployments so that’s the default, but it’s just 1 variable to adjust in the web interface. In my pictures, I think it’s set at 27% because my paper was smaller. Bottom line is you definitely want some margins on the edges, but you can play with the value, and weights on the plotter. What matters is that your belts stay straight and don’t sag. Extreme positions aren’t ideal for this hence the margin.

      I don’t think you’ll have issues with accuracy at 2m, well, not from the motors at least but you’ll have to play with margins and weights. If the motors steps are too big (once again I don’t think they will be), I can help you enable microstepping.

      1. Awesome, thanks for the info!
        I’ll get to building next (which will take some time!) and get back to you afterwards 🙂

  3. Hit “Send” too early 🙂 I noticed that in the instructions, there are 2 different links – the one in the “Download” section pointing to this:

    And one in the instructions for the Raspi Imager pointing here: http://ben.akrin.com/downloads/gondola_plottybot_2023-01-30.img

    I tried with the first image, and that one seems to work (but probably not the right version for the vertical plotter?). Second one doesn’t seem to do anything. I also noticed that they are very different in size, first link aroun 1.7GB, second link around 400MB. Could the image in the second link be corrupt?

    1. I think you’re the first to go through the instructions 🙂 You’re a trail blazer. Thank you for pointing out the outdated links. I just updated them with the most recent one, could you please give it another try?

      1. Yep, now it works, thanks a lot! I have no idea why people don’t go crazy over this – this is such a great idea!! 😀

        1. Nice! Sorry for the trouble, definitely let me know if you run into more documentation oddities. There’s no way I got it all right right off the bat, it helps others to remove all the errors. Thanks for trail blazing :).

  4. Awesome project! I started building it, but for some reason, the Raspberry Pi image does nothing for me. I flash it, plug the card into the Zero W, and nothing happens. The green LED flashes for a couple of seconds, then just stays solid indefinitely. Any idea what this could be? CHeers!

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